When you think of the most important works of art ever created, you probably think of them, either tucked away in the private collection of a wealthy family or on display for all to see in a museum. But it turns out that MGM Resorts in Las Vegas actually had a significant collection of Picasso paintings, which went up for sale this weekend at a Sotheby’s auction and fetched an impressive US $ total.108,873,350 (AU $ 144,996,221).
The auction featured a stacked catalog of some of Picasso’s most revered works, including Woman in red-orange beret, a 1938 work that depicts Picasso’s love and muse, Marie-Thérèse Walter. The sale was not limited to painted works of art, however, and also featured three ceramic pieces by Picasso in the form of an elegant vase, tile, and terracotta sculpture.
As you might expect, the best lots included the Woman in beret Orange-red, which sold over US $ 10 million above its estimate (US $ 20-30 million), eventually reaching US $ 40,479,000 (AU $ 53,973,000). The next strongest lot was Man and child, which sold almost perfectly in the middle of its estimate, selling for US $ 24,393,000 (AU $ 32,524,000).
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The surprise successes of the auction were Picasso’s trio of ceramic works, all of which sold well above their pre-sale estimates. An enamelled terracotta tile titled Lunch on the Grass sold for US $ 2,137,500 (AU $ 2,847,000) against an estimate of US $ 300,000-500,000, while the vase Ewer – Face sold for US $ 315,000 (AU $ 420,000) when his estimate was only US $ 60,000 to 80,000. Finally, the terracotta sculpture entitled Bearded man head had a listed estimate of US $ 50,000-70,000 and was subsequently sold for US $ 239,400 (AU $ 319,000).
The sale, which coincided with what would have been Picasso’s 140th birthday, took place at the Bellagio Hotel owned by MGM Resorts (yes, the Hotel de ocean 11). It was one of the largest auctions of Picasso’s works of art in recent memory, and it was also the first time that Sotheby’s had a major North American auction outside of its auction rooms. based in New York.
According to the hospitality manager of MGM Resorts, Ari Kastrati, the works of art were sold to free up money that would be spent on other works of art in their collection. Kastrati explained that MGM Resorts seeks to create “an even more inclusive collection that maintains the breadth of our existing portfolio while giving a greater voice to artists from under-represented communities.”